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Weekly Comics Reviews - 2 March 2016

Weekly Comics Reviews - 2 March 2016


Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment only came on Thursday. Swamp Thing and A-Force courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Swamp Thing #3 Story: Len Wein Art: Kelly Jones DC Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson created the Swamp Thing 45 years ago and Wein returns to the character he is best known for (other than the Bronze Age X-Men). DC has paired him up with an artist who is firmly in the Wrightson school, Kelly Jones. This should be a dream team, except Wein is writing this title as if it is still in the 1970s. Not his fault entirely as Alan Moore’s retcon of the Swamp Thing’s origins (‘The Anatomy Lesson” of 1984) has itself been retconned in 2011 as part of The New 52. Alec Holland is back as the Swamp Thing and he is trying to be human again – what’s the point? In this issue,...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 24.2.16

Weekly Comic Reviews - 24.2.16




Ratings out of 5 stars. Mainstream comics available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Rampokan Story/Art: Peter van Dongen Gramedia I just heard about Peter van Dongen’s Rampokan from my friend, Tita Larasati many years ago. A story set in Indonesia in 1946 and spanned the islands of Java and Celebes, the background of the Dutch police action is only the setting. Other than the political intrigue, double-crossing and betrayal (and a huge cast of characters), it is a story of a sentimental young man trying to look for the Indonesia of his past and making fatal mistakes in the process of doing that. In a way, Johan Knevel represents the old Dutch who still thinks the Indies would welcome them back with open arms. He is trapped in the past and there will be hell to pay for those who cannot live in the present and see the future...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 24 Feb 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 24 Feb 2016



Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment was delayed till Saturday because of bad weather in the US. The mainstream stuff are available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Broken Frontier Editors: Frederick Hautain and Tyler Chin-Tanner A Wave Blue World Lots of comics coming out on Kickstarter now, even though they eventually get published with Image. We first heard about the Broken Frontier anthology last year and it’s finally out. The good thing if you have funded this, is that you get the digital version first. This was sent to us two weeks ago – the traffic to download it was so heavy that it was suspended temporarily. But it is worth the wait. Broken Frontier started out as a web comic magazine in 2002 by editor-in-chief, Frederick Hautain. Later, it became a physical magazine edited  by Andy Oliver but that folded in 2014. Now, Hautain is back to co-edit...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 10 Feb 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 10 Feb 2016








Shipment was delayed and only came on Thursday. Ratings out of 5 stars. The mainstream stuff are available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Second Sight #1 Story: David Hine Art: Alberto Ponticelli AfterShock Comics I’ve been looking forward to this new baby by David Hine. The British writer tells one hell of a ghastly story. Check out his cult book, Strange Embrace and his adaptation of Victor Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs. Second Sight is about Ray Palmer, a psychic who can see bad things happening. He calls it ‘remote viewing’. 20 years ago after his first sighting, he is divorced, his ex-wife had taken out a restraining on him, his daughter is running a blog exposing society’s elites and getting into trouble. For the life of me, I don’t know why he has the same name as the Atom, but Ray looks like the burnt out hippie who...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 3 Feb 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 3 Feb 2016






Ratings out of 5 stars. The mainstream books are available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura). It’s the CNY weekend, go read more and something different.   Rosalie Lightning Story/Art: Tom Hart St Martin’s Press The death of a child – the most devastating book you will read this year. People have been talking about Rosalie Lightning and it will be in 2016 year’s end lists. But the accolades are secondary. It is the well of emotions that is evoked in you when you painfully turn the pages that you will remember. I didn’t know Tom Hart is married to Leela Corman. I didn’t know they named their child after a Brian Eno song. I didn’t know she died before she turned two. In December 2000, I spent a cold winter month in NYC and interviewed cartoonists, and how hard it was to make it there as an artist. The opening...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 27 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 27 Jan 2016




Ratings out of 5 stars. The mainstream stuff is available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   ODY-C #9 Story: Matt Fraction Art: Christian Ward Image Comics So Matt Fraction wants to write his version of The Odyssey for his young daughter to read. I doubt that will happen anytime soon as this is some badass take on that old Homer yarn. Things are turned around as the gender of the heroes and villains are reversed and the whole odyssey thing takes place in space. I found the first few issues hard to follow if you do not have detailed knowledge of the original text, but Christian Ward's splashes more than make up for it. Fraction continues his panel layout innovations from Hawkeye. Some said it's nothing new if you have read Chris Ware and all. But if you steal from the best and bring it to a new mainstream/superhero/SF audience,...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 20 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 20 Jan 2016







Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for The World Is So Big - go buy it from Basheer Books at Bras Basah Complex. Run, don't walk.   Secret Wars #9 Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Esad Ribic Marvel Comics The comic event of 2015. This last issue was much delayed and it came out last week. But I didn’t want to review it until I read the whole series in one sitting to see how well it holds up.  Well, Jonathan Hickman has held up his side of bargain in telling one hell of a Marvel Universe ‘end of the world’ story that started with his Avengers/New Avengers run in 2012. The secret Avengers (The Illuminati) learned that the world is ending. The multiverse is clashing with each other. To save their universe from being destroyed during an Incursion, Black Panther, Namor, Dr Strange,...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 13 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 13 Jan 2016



It’s been a crazy week. Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Insexts #2 Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Ariela Kristantina AfterShock Comics Reading is contextual. Reading Insexts #2 a few hours after the terrorist attack in Jakarta is especially poignant because you know the ideas and freedom that allowed such a daring comic like Insexts is under threat by fundamentalism. The right to buy and read a comic like Insexts should not be taken for granted. It should be protected. Putting the politics aside, this second issue continues the winning streak of AfterShock Comics. One awaits the next issue with abated breath…Btw, the artist of Insexts, Ariela Kristantina, who is based in Jakarta, is safe and sound. (4 stars)     The Walking Dead #150 Story: Robert Kirkman Art: Charlie Adlard Image Comics The Walking Dead reaches the landmark 150 th  issue. Who would...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 6 Jan 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 6 Jan 2016





Shipment was delayed by a day. Ratings out of 5 stars. Marvel and Vertigo Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Match Point Story: Adrian Teo Art: Ken Foo Self-published The political culture of Singapore is as such that we find it hard to laugh at ourselves, much less making fun of our political leaders which is a no-no since independence. Political cartoonists would satirize other countries' leaders but not our own. That is why the 'I don't give a flying xxxx' attitude of Adrian Teo and Ken Foo is refreshing in this stifling environment. They will make fun of any social situations, from the dating scene (Date King) to the competitive school sports environment in Match Point. This new book by the politically incorrect duo is a mix of high school romance, sports comic and shojo manga. Think Slam Dunk but it's female tennis players in super short...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 30 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 30 Dec 2015










Happy new year. Shipment was late this week, so instead of these being the last comic reviews of the year, they are the first comic reviews for 2016. Clearing the backlog I have to review. Do read more local and regional comics. Doesn't matter if they are from here or overseas. As long as they are good, go read them. Marvel comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).     Peeping Through Jakarta Story/Art: Haryadhi, Sheila, Mice Octopus Garden It’s Sooooo Indonesian! Story/Art: Mice Octopus Garden Benny and Mice are the most famous cartooning duo in Jakarta whose weekly Sunday strips appeared in Kompas from 2003 to 2010. They have since gone their separate ways but both are still drawing. A few years ago, Benny drew a book about Singapore. Mice continues to draw for Kompas and his strips continue to hold up the savage mirror for all Jakartans to...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 23 Dec 2015



Merry Xmas. Ratings out of 5 stars. Marvel comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura). I bought my own copy of The Resident Tourist Vol 7, as you should, yeah? After all, it’s only Christmas.   The Resident Tourist Vol 7 Story/Art: Troy Chin Math Paper Press Just in time for Xmas. More than a year in the making, Troy continues to chronicle his life in public, something he has been doing for the past eight years since his return from NYC. He did well in school, went to U. Penn to do business studies, landed up in a dream job with a major record label. But he got depressed, started seeing a psychiatrist who advised him to draw. He returned to Singapore and drew comics. Troy is still unsure of himself, despite winning the Young Artist Award and meeting the president, and representing Singapore with other artists at the...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 16 Dec 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 16 Dec 2015





Away for 2 weeks, now back. Ratings out of 5 stars. Most comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   Insexts #1 Story: Marguerite Bennett Art: Ariela Kristantina Aftershock Comics Lots of buzz about Aftershock and really looking forward to this one. Insexts lives up to the hype and did not disappoint. Marguerite Bennett says she is not writing porn or at least not yet. Still this is one of the most sensual comics I have read in ages. Ariela’s art adds to the steaminess of forbidden fruits and all things taboo. Think Penny Dreadful but up a few notches of grey. NSFW and comic of the week. (although this came out last week) (4.5 stars) Web-Warriors #2 Story: Mike Costa Art: David Baldeon Marvel Comics I’m enjoying this more than the regular Spider-Gwen comic. It continues the Spider-Verse story. All’s not well when Electros across the multiverse banded together...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 25 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 25 Nov 2015




Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for DKIII: The Master Race DKIII: The Master Race Book One Story: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello Art: Andy Kubert and Klaus Jason DC Comics The comic to review this week. DKIII is highly anticipated and you have read all the hype about it. The original Dark Knight Returns was a classic and seminal series in all sense of the word. Together with Alan Moore, Frank Miller was the god of mainstream superhero comics. Everything he touched turned to gold – Daredevil Born Again, Batman Year One, Give Me Liberty, Hardboiled. Until they did not. Bad trips like Robocop, DKII, All-Star Batman and Robin, Holy Terror declare Miller to be a spent force. Throughout the 90s, fans kept faith with series like Sin City and The 300, which show Miller to be an innovative stylist in his...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 18 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 18 Nov 2015






Ratings out of 5 stars. Most comics can be found at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   The Arab of the Future Story/Art: Riad Sattouf Metropolitan Books I first read about The Arab of the Future in The New Yorker last month and ordered it immediately. It is touted as the book to read now in France, given the ethnic and religious tension in Europe recently. I had wanted to review the book last week but didn’t get round to do it. What a difference a week make. Over the weekend, the attacks in Paris and Beirut happened. I slept late on Friday night. 4 am to be precise. When I woke at 8 am, the attacks in Paris were over. Four hours made all the difference. And Beirut was attacked one day before Paris. Most media did not pick it up. We need to look at other media to understand...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015




Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment was delayed by a day but it is a good week for new mainstream comics, a slew of number ones – All-New Wolverine #1, The Goddamned #1 and All-New Hawkeye #1 courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).   The Goddamned: Before the Flood #1 Story: Jason Aaron Art: r.m. Guera Image Comics Jason Aaron has been working hard – Ghost Rider (drawn by Tan Eng Huat), Star Wars, and the new female Thor. All star titles in recent years. Now he reteamed with r.m. Guera, his partner for Vertigo’s Scalped series to do their creator-own take on the Book of Genesis. Or what happened to the folks who left Eden. No more spoilers. Violent and great art by Guera. Has a Moebius feel to it. Go get. (4 stars) All-New Hawkeye #1 Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Ramon Pere z Marvel Comics One wonders if...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 4 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 4 Nov 2015








Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Snowpiercer and JJ's Science Adventure.   Snowpiercer Vol 1: The Escape Snowpiercer Vol 2: The Explorers Story: Jacques Lob (Vol 1) and Benjamin Legrand Art: Jean-Marc Rochette Titan Comics The Bong Joon-ho (The Host) directed movie starred Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton has brought worldwide attention to the original French bande dessinee first published in 1982. After the death of writer, Jacques Lob in 1990, Benjamin Legrand continued the story of Snowpiercer with artist Jean-Marc Rochette in The Explorers (1999) and The Crossing (2000). Last year, Titan Comics put out the translation of all three stories in 2 volumes – The Escape (Vol 1) contain the original graphic novel while The Explorers (Vol 2) contain the remaining two stories. News has just reached us that a fourth Snowpiercer bande dessinee, The Terminus, written by Olivier Bocquet...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 28 October 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 28 October 2015









Ratings out of 5 stars. These comics are courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) – Squirrel Girl #1, Uncanny Avengers #1, Black Magick #1, Lady Mechanika #6.   Black Magick Story: Greg Rucka Art: Nicola Scott Image Comics Greg Rucka is known for his excellent characterization of tough female heroes – Whiteout, Queen and Country, Gotham Central, Wonder Woman, The Question, Batwoman and more recently, Lazarus. Add Rowan Black, the white witch and police detective, to this list. Nicola Scott graced our shores a few years ago when she drew Earth 2. Recently, she did stuff for Alan Moore’s Electricomics and now this. Her style has changed and it suits moody tone of the book. Worth following. (4 stars) Lady Mechanika #6 Story: MM Chen Art: Joe Benitez Benitez Productions Joe Benitez draws like the late Michael Turner and this reminds me very much of a Top Cow comic. In...
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 21 Oct 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 21 Oct 2015






Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Steve Ditko, Uber Vol 5 and Becoming Unbecoming.   Tokyo Ghost #2 Story: Rick Remender Art: Sean Murphy Image Comics Rick Remender can be a hit or miss. Thankfully, Tokyo Ghost #2 delivers the goods. If you had trouble following the action in #1, you are not the only one. It set the stage with lots of verbosity but it was not very memorable. This issue reveals what Tokyo Ghost is really about – a love story, a quest and samurais. Remender is still overloading us with too much text when he should just let Sean Murphy’s beautiful art breathe. Check out the splash pages at the end. I’m sold. (4 stars) Steve Ditko’s #2oww3oww Story/Art: Steve Ditko Self-Published The man is a legend. Don’t just know him as the creator of Spider-man and Squirrel Girl....
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Weekly Comic Reviews - 14 October 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 14 October 2015







Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for War Stories #13, Mythic #4 and Singapore Subterranean Grapevine Book 9.   Mythic #4 Story: Phil Hester Art: John McCrea Image Comics Released 3 weeks ago, this is still worth hunting down. Phil Hester and John McCrea get back together 10 years after their horror series, The Atheist, for Image Comics. Mythic deals with working class magicians trying to police the mythical world. You know, normal blokes like you and me and working towards our government pension and retirement. (of course, there is no more pension in Singapore, but if you believe in magic…) Imagine BPRD set in Britain and the team knocking back for a pint at the local pub after work, you get an idea of the world of Mythic. John McCrea (Hitman, The Boys) is pretty active recently. Drawing this and also regular...
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Weekly Comic Reviews – 7 Oct 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews – 7 Oct 2015








Ratings out of 5 stars. Comics courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura) except for Island #3, Perfect World Today, Roleplayers #1-3 and Paper Girls #1   Island #3 Story and art: Various Image Comics Another one too good to miss. Even though this came out on 16 September, 3 weeks ago, this is the comic to read now. Just like 8House is the brainchild of Brandon Graham, Island, the new oversized comic magazine (no ads!) published by Image, is conceived by Emma Rios and Graham. Comic magazines are rare these days – the other recent one is Meanwhile published by Soaring Penguin Press. I am really excited by Island’s esoteric stories. It is anything goes. From Kelly Sue DeConnick’s heartfelt essay (with illustrations by Ríos) about her friendship with the late writer and poet Maggie Estep in the first issue to Rios writing and drawing her own story in the...
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